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Timing is Everything: Improving the quality and timeliness of critical end-of-life conversations

End-of-Life Talks DOA? New System Seeks Remedy Bridget M. Kuehn March 15, 2016, Medscape http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860405 CHICAGO — An intervention that included physician training, a system for identifying patients nearing the end of life, and electronic medical record prompts led to more and earlier end-of-life discussions, according to new research. In a cluster-randomized trial, a systematic intervention involving the discussion of end-of-life care was compared with usual care in adult oncology outpatients. Results …Read More

What Really Matters at the End of Life

What Really Matters at the End of Life BJ Miller, Palliative Caregiver At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions …Read More

Changing the Conversation from “What’s the Matter?” to “What Matters?”

A Vision for “What Matters to You?” What if every clinician, staff member, and community health worker routinely asked, “What matters to you?” — and listened attentively at every encounter with individuals and their family members? What would we learn? How would understanding “What Matters” enhance our ability to develop genuine partnerships with individual patients? Clinicians, health care staff, and community health workers around the world seek to understand the …Read More

Whatcom View: Advance directives share key end-of-life decisions

Whatcom View: Advance directives share key end-of-life decisions By Dr. Bree Johnston Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald   Join other Whatcom residents to participate in The RAMP UP to National Healthcare Decisions Day Event that will be held on March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Settlemyer Hall at Bellingham Technical College. RAMP UP is intended as a kickoff to an ongoing effort to engage Whatcom County employers to motivate their …Read More

Giving Blood – And Other Acts of Courage

Pulse Magazine Friday, 4 December 2015 Liz Witherell I donated blood today. I’m one of those people who doesn’t shudder at the thought of needles piercing my skin, or get queasy as I watch the blood drain from my vein into the collection bag. It’s no big deal. I eat the cookies and drink the juice afterwards, and I kind of enjoy talking with the elderly volunteers. I think I’m …Read More

Doctor wants patients to reclaim dying as part of living

Dr. Ira Byock, a national expert on palliative care, will talk about how to live and die well. When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 Where: Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. Cost: Free Info:http://washington.providence.org/events/phc/ira-byock-conference/ or www.providence.org/institute-for-human-caring. October 25, 2015 Erica Curless The Spokesman-Review Americans are dying all wrong – spending too much time and money in hospitals and intensive care units receiving invasive treatments instead of enjoying those last, valuable days …Read More

I’m a doctor. Preparing you for death is as much a part of my job as saving lives.

by Shoshana Ungerleider on October 19, 2015 It wasn’t until just before graduation that we talked about what to do when a patient is dying. A single three-hour seminar with a group of specialists from the palliative care service; at least it was mandatory. The presenters were young physicians, and they seemed kind and thoughtful. But I wondered why anyone would devote their medical career to end-of-life care. My classmates …Read More

A nurse with fatal breast cancer says end-of-life discussions saved her life

By Amy Berman September 28 To: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: News reports say you will soon make a final decision about paying doctors and other providers who talk to their patients about end-of-life planning, I have a fatal form of breast cancer, and I’d like to tell you how such conversations have allowed me to survive, and live well, in the five years since my diagnosis. I am …Read More

Powerful photographs of terminally ill patients living out their dying wishes

Before 54-year-old Mario passed away, he had one special goodbye he needed to say … to his favorite giraffe. Mario had worked as a maintenance man at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands for over 25 years. After his shifts, he loved to visit and help care for the animals, including the giraffes. As Mario’s fight against terminal brain cancer came to an end, all he wanted to do was …Read More

The I.C.U is Not a Pause Button – NYTimes Opinionator

By KRISTEN MCCONNELL AUGUST 26, 2015 With my elderly stroke patient’s back arched and his head tilted back, too many angles of his skeleton were on display. A nose covered in thin gray skin sliced the air like a shark fin, and beneath it his mouth hung open. He didn’t look like he was resting. Read the entire piece here.